1 May 2016

Oh My Goodness! (I will not cry...)

... or maybe I will ...
Thank you to some very lovely authors... 
receiving this was a complete surprise!

* * * 
We, the undersigned, alas mostly imaginary but definitely historical,
Present the
Award for Best April 2016 A to Z Challenge
—Highlighting Historical Fiction—
Mistress Helen Hollick


A– Aurelia - Alison Morton
Salve Helen Hollick!

You have worked hard in the service of your craft and for your comrades in arms. Both as head of the Twelve Families of Roma Nova and as a fellow perfectionist, I salute you and ask Fortuna to smile on you in all your future endeavours. [from Helen: no idea what thank you is in Latin - will 'Ta' do?]

B- Bloodie Bones - Lucienne Boyce
Dan Foster and his friends in the Fancy send their thanks to Helen Hollick, a first rate sporting cove who accepted the Challenge and kept the game alive like the prime CHAMPION OF THE WRITING CORPS she is. ‘England’s champion now behold/In she who fills the chair, sirs...etc.’ [from Helen: Cheers Dan!]

I, Samuel Plank, familiar as I am with speaking in court and wedded as I am to truth and justice, am proud to stand and put my name to this document.  Miss Hollick has done much to share my stories, and for this I thank her heartily. Your servant, madam. [from Helen : It's an honour to have met you Sam!]

D- Dubh Linn - James Nelson
Well, for a Saxon I suppose you did a decent job with all this. You have my thanks. I’ll hold off plundering your village. For this year, anyway. May the gods bring you good luck!
Thorgrim Night Wolf  [from Helen - you're OK Thorgrim my DNA confirms I'm British Celt not Saxon! Hmmm on second thoughts, does that make any difference to a Viking?]

Rab Howell says: ' Ee tha's a reight good un, lass. Champion effort.' [From Helen : thank 'ee kindly Master Rabb! I'm a Spurs Supporter m'self, but I'll be eheerin' for your teams from now on as well!]

F- Fortune’s Fool - David Blixt
CESCO: She deserves thanks? We did all the talking.
PIETRO: You never appreciate the value of proper organization and planning. 
CESCO: I value disrupting proper organization and planning. 
PIETRO: Then you've succeeded spectacularly. Helen, on behalf of Fortune's Fools, I thank you.
CESCO: A hollow gesture, utterly lacking. Here's an idea, why not let her exile you from her blog?
PIETRO: Then she'd have no buffer when dealing with you.

CESCO: Oh, she'd be a fool to invite me back. And Helen's no fool. [from Helen : I think there's a complement in there somewhere...?LOL]

G-Gift For The Magus - Linda Proud

Filippino Lippi says: Tante grazie, bellina Helena! I have reserved a place for you in heaven. [from Helen : I think after this mammoth month my ideal Heaven is one without Social Media! LOL]

I always valued loyalty over every other human virtue, and Helen has exhibited that trait in her dogged efforts to promote the books of which I am only a small part. Bravo, Helen! [from Helen : Thank you Mr Holliday. I try my best.]

I- In Liberty’s Wake - Alexandra Norland (J. R.Bracken)
I, Arabella Alden, my family and friends raise our glasses to you in recognition of your tireless efforts to bring attention to the Indie writing community and congratulate you on a job well done. We toast your health and happiness, and wish you continued success, as well as many adventurous years with a certain handsome and roguish pirate. To Mistress Helen!
Mistress Helen!
Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!
(Tri-corner hats are tossed up in the air and drinks are downed with gusto.) [from Helen : catching one of the hats.... thank you ma'am may I keep this hat as a memento?

Your humble servant, Dudley Striker Esquire, gives you joy of this award, Mistress Hollick. Should I ever be in need of a stalwart sailing master, you may attend that Captain Acorne shall be at the forefront of my considerations. And I thank you, most sincerely, for effecting this fine mutual acquaintanceship! [from Helen : I'm not sure Captain Acorne will be too keen on that idea, Master Dudley - the4 Jacobite cause has already landed him in quite a bit of trouble ...]

K - Khamsin - Inge H. Borg
I, Nefret, Royal Daughter and Heiress of the First Dynasty of Egypt, may well be the oldest soul around here. Still, don’t discount my powers for I can endow unfortunate present-day sufferers with my sinner’s soul.
But you, Renown Pirate-Creator Helen, will always have my good wishes and grateful thanks heaped upon your head and your immortal Ba, for you are indeed a Kindred Spirit. [from Helen : I enjoyed meeting you your highness - and I look forward to reading about your amazing life!]

L - Luck Bringer- Nick Brown
Across twenty five centuries Helen I'd like to thank you for giving me my voice back.
I've had to exist through the inadequate prose of Nick Brown who constantly gets things wrong. I think I'd have done far better if you'd stumbled across me on the beach in Limnionas. I hope your pirate appreciates you, he doesn't know how lucky he is. 

Mandrocles , sometimes called the beautiful, Luck Bringer [from Helen : I visited Greece when I was about 12 years old. I remember the awe I felt when see the Acropolis in Athens for real. Utterly amazing now, in its derelict state - in your time...wow!]

M- Murder at Cirey - Cheryl Sawyer
I, Victor Constant of the Chaumont brigade of the Maréchaussée (military police) of France, am grateful for the privilege of commenting upon Helen Hollick, the captive subject of this investigation. I detect in her great powers of perception, magnificent stamina in her chosen field, and generous fellow-feeling for others. Because of her egalitarian spirit and her significant efforts on our behalf, I believe the verdict is unanimous—she must be released immediately from her one-month blog sentence and allowed to continue with her own admirable work. [from Helen : release would be nice, good sir - but 'tis a far-fetched fancy, alas!]

N– A Newfound Land - Anna Belfrage
Hi, Helen, Alex here! Seeing as I’m one of the few historical characters around with a computer background, I know just how much work goes into something like this – heck, it’s almost worse than doing laundry on an icy 17th century March day. Almost. So here’s me giving you a big, big hug – and remember, mi casa es su casa, should you ever pop by Graham Garden. Or even better, send that dashing pirate of yours! [from Helen : you mean Jesamiah isn't with you? Where the heck has he got to then...?]

O– Prince John, Out Of Time - Loretta Livingstone
Mistress Hollick,

Disappointed though I am that you did not wish to dally with me, yet I wish to grant you this charter expressing my right royal gratitude for your tireless exertions, of which I am most appreciative. Of course, darling, I do have better ways to express my gratitude...but if you will have none of them, no matter. And now, I must go, for I see my author cringing, although I cannot imagine why. Alas, when she summons me, she has the power to make me disapp.... John vanishes in a puff of smoke. [from Helen : thank you, your highness. (I think...)]

P - Pirate Code - Helen Hollick
(And what say you, handsome Capt. Jesamiah Acorne?) I say Aye with a bottle of rum to seal the deal!  [From Helen : Jes dear, do you think you could put that bottle of rum and that young lady down and get back here so I can finish On The Account's final edit...?]

Q- To Be A Queen - Annie Whitehead
As the daughter of a king and the wife of a nobleman, I always expected some degree of authority and responsibility. But I could never have imagined that I would one day lead a kingdom, even if they never called me ‘Queen’. I was alone in a man’s world, so, dear Helen, from one Lady to another, I would like to thank you for your support and for allowing me to tell my story when history overlooked me. With love and thanks from Aethelflaed. [from Helen : my Lady several years ago I was considering writing your story - I am glad I did not do so now, for Ms Whitehead has accomplished the task most suitably!]

R- The Spirit Room - Marschel Paul
I, Isabelle Benton, from the 19th century and the state of New York in America, do thank you for your extraordinary feistiness and your exceptional dedication to the realm of the imagination and creativity, as well as the exploration of history. You have brought me and all that I am (or rather was) before the eyes of so many in the 21st century. I had not known such a thing was possible. Marschel, my author, and I are forever grateful, no matter the century. [from Helen : thank you my dear, as one who is comfortable living alongside the couple of spirits who remain in my 18th century house, I enjoyed meeting you!]

I, who was once known as Canio, but now style myself Aulus Claudius Caninus, honestior and owner of the magnificent estate known as Villa Canini, salute you Helen for your Herculean efforts on behalf of my miserable wretch of a biographer and his fellow Indie Authors.
I wish upon you the blessings of all the deities, especially Bacchus. (Although perhaps not Hecate, whose equivocal blessings I would hesitate to wish upon anyone.)   [from Helen : Salve good sir! It was an honour to meet you (and I think my Jesamiah's wife, Tiola, will protect me from Hecate.]

T -Tristan & Iseult - Jane Dixon Smith
My name is Iseult of Ireland and I have found myself in a world quite unlike my own. This is a world of unknown devices and yet the landscapes are familiar to me. For this I owe thanks to a woman by the name of Helen Hollick, for I have never before been invited to share my words on anything but the written page. I am truly indebted for this great experience.  [from Helen : thank you my lady - I knew your story from my years of reading as a teenager, but I must admit Mistress Dixon Smith has presented the best telling of it!]                       

I cannot overstate my gratitude to Helen Hollick for allowing me, 250 years after I walked the farms and villages of England, to share again my love for the land, and for justice...and for the most special woman imaginable. And not only has she allowed me to do this; she has let me do it in the company of some of the most gifted writers and the most fascinating characters ever to have lived. Helen, I am so grateful for your hard work in making this happen. May God bless you and all those you hold dear. [from Helen : as one who now lives in an old 18th century farm in beautiful Devon, I share your love of the land!]

V- Victoria Blake - Far Away
I, Michael Armstrong, would like to say this about Helen. She is a much harder worker than my writer and she has more oomph, more get up and go. In fact I think my writer, Victoria Blake, should learn from her general magnificence in every way. Also I can't help feeling that if we had had Helen with us in 1943 we would have escaped much quicker from Sulmona POW camp than we did. I can tell she has an intrepid spirit and would have made the escape through the Abruzzi mountains without a bother on her. All hail the magnificent and generous hearted, Helen! And may her pirate Jesamiah Acorne continue to sail for many years to come. [from Helen : thank you - but in reality I'm a sit in the warmth of my cosy study person really!]

W- When Sorrows Come - Maria Dziedzan
I, Anna, like this woman Helen. She is the best kind of person...someone who gives other people the chance to grow. We all need that kind of support and we survive best when we do it together. So dyakoyu to Halyna! [from Helen : I like helping indie authors to tell the stories of fascinating times and people. If other authors had not helped me in the past - well, I might still be saying 'when I write my book...']

X- The FlaX Flower - Amanda Maclean
Ye've my thanks, Helen, for taking my story to folk who might never have heard it any other way. And I'll tell ye this, though ye share my mother's name, ye've a warmth and a giving way aboot ye that I've seldom seen in her. I thank ye for it. Peace be wi' you. Annie. [from Helen : thank you Annie it has been a privilege to meet you and hear the song about you.]

Once Again,
Dear Mistress Helen,
With our Thanks and Appreciation.

Now you can settle down to a well-deserved Cup of Tea
Or perhaps some of those Gin and Mulled Wine Concoctions

                From Your Own Recipes we Found Here:

Needless to say I had a bit of a blub 
when reading all the above...
It has been hard work -
 but made easier (and very rewarding)
 by your support and enthusiasm!)


  1. T'would have been bad manners, after being invited to such a wonderful party, not to send a 'bread and butter' letter to our gracious host:) thank you so much, Helen - your hard work has translated into a lot of fun for us x

  2. I'd like to say let's do it again sometime - I'm not quite sure how mad I will need to be to say it though! *laugh*

  3. Enjoyed reading them all. Good luck everyone. Hope to keep in touch.

  4. Yes, huge thanks, Helen. I think I disappeared John just before he became unbearable, but he's really very grateful. I'm just not sure you wish to be the recipient of his particular brand of gratitude. It was lovely of you to take so much time and trouble.
    Glad to hear Kathy's event went so well and you had a good day off. You've earned a lot more than a single day off, lol. You must be exhausted.

  5. Thanks, Helen - and don't even hint at doing it again, some of us may bite immediately :)

  6. Also, huge thanks to Inge for arranging such a nice way for us all to show our gratitude.

    1. Thanks, Loretta. I guess, my busybody secretarial background came oozing back out.

  7. Fantastic! Your blog did stand out. It was engaging and not all about you or your book. This is why readers flock to your blog. It has variety and connection!

  8. Tibi maximas gratias ago, Helena!
    (Ta muchly in Latin)
    Now put your feet up and relax with a glass of chilled white...

  9. What a social whirlwind month--for you and a country hermit (meaning me, Helen!)
    Most fascinating to get to know everyone and their historic entourage; and all thanks to you, Mistress Helen. Thank you from the bottom of my page - which reads: "To be Continued..."

  10. Thank you so much, Helen, for the idea in the first place, the determination to see it through, and the sheer hard work of assembling and posting it all - you are a marvel! And I am keeping a close eye on sales figures, so I will report if I see an increase in demand...!

  11. And in case you're wondering, Penwright is me - Susan Grossey (and through me, Sam Plank). It's an old WordPress identity - can't imagine where it dredged that up from - but at least I can leave comments under my own steam without bothering you! Mind you, perhaps it is fitting that a constable should have a pseudonym for all those clandestine adventures....

  12. Well done on the award - very much deserved. I have enjoyed your A to Z immensely and will definitely be back regularly.
    That's Purrfect
    Around My Kitchen Table

    1. Thank you for dropping by - when I get a chance to draw breath I intend to catch up on some other A-Zeders!


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